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2008-01-21 15:00:00

5 Tips to Make it a Great 2008

One lesson I’ve learned in helping brokers and real estate professionals in my career as a coach and business consultant is this: To make a brighter future, you have to look at the past. 
In short, history is a marvelous teacher.

The philosopher George Santayana, in 1906, said it like this: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

And today, more than a century later, those words ring with just as much resonance as they ever have. And those in real estate who heed those words are taking the steps toward a better future. 

Yes, 2008 is here. And it’s tempting to look ahead and start planning now. But a quick glance at 2007 can help you draw a helpful road map toward a more prosperous 2008.

Why? Because – unless you’re not of this world – you likely made some mistakes in 2007 that probably left a good chunk of money on the table -- mistakes you’ll clearly want to avoid next year.

Here are five tips to make 2008 a truly Happy New Year:

  1. Understand your numbers. Know exactly how much money you netted in 2007 -- not grossed; so know how much you spent to make the amount you netted by looking over your expenses carefully. Then look to trim those expenses to make even more money next this year! Get professional software. (I’ve found Quickbooks easy to learn and use.) Also, calculate the average sales price of the homes you sold in 2007. Feel okay about that number? If not, look to increase it for 2008 by targeting higher-priced homes.
  2. Look over your sources of business. Carefully examine each marketing channel to find which ones are working and which are lagging. Was there improvement from 2006 to 2007 in each channel? Focus on the areas you want to refine. Maybe it’s your sphere of influence. Are you staying in touch with your past clients or sphere of influence enough? Or perhaps it’s your farming efforts or your prospecting.
  3. Focus on daily activities. Poor time management can kill any real estate business. To stay alive, develop a good daily plan for 2008 by spending 30 minutes a day working ON your business, not IN your business. (Working IN your business means your daily activities -- helping buyers and sellers or looking over your active listings. Working ON your business means you’re planning and giving attention to what makes your business work: developing your marketing calendar, reviewing your profit and loss statements and examining the direction of your business.) Feel free to copy my “Daily Activity Record” to spend your time more wisely in 2008.
  4. Don’t go it alone. One common mistake I see with real estate agents is an independent streak. That’s fine for some occupations, but in real estate, you need accountability. Who was helping you reach your goals in 2007? Get a group of advisors who can help you plan for 2008 and who can hold you accountable for your goals.
  5. Be balanced. Did you strike a healthy balance between work and your personal life in 2007? I’ve seen real estate professionals put work before family. The result: divorce, distractions and distress. People claim they can leave their personal problems at home, but they can’t. They end up thinking about them and it affects their work. Create a weekly schedule and set (and most importantly, keep) hours of operations. I emphasize balance in my work with clients and it’s one of the most rewarding parts of my job.   

Now make a commitment for 2008 to be great!  

(Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc.  800-957-8353, an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the broker’s or agent’s existing practice. We look forward to hearing from you.  Sign up TODAY for your free business consultation.)

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